Seat Recline mod for 99+ Stangs
Written by By
S. Todd Grant
How to Make the Front Seats
Fully Recline in '99+ Mustangs
Piece of cake...almost. When you remove the plastic covers from the sides of the seats (two screws, one in back, one on the side) it's the rivet furthest to the rear, next to the spring coil, with the flat metal plate with a groove in it and the rivet being in the groove. It's this rivet/pin thing that needs to be removed.
First I removed the bunny-ear seat belt holders from the seats. Apparently the whole reason Ford made it so the seats don't recline further is because they really, really wanted these seat belt loops on there and they would rub on the sides of the back if the seats went back too far. So if you really, really want them on there too, you have to decide if it's more important to you than...naps. You need torx screwdriver bits to remove the screws, and it would be easier with the headrests removed, but thats whole nother how-to. I managed with torx bits and a pair of pliers.
The rivet is made of some weak metal, so I think any 1/4" drill bit made for metal will do. I drilled all the way through to the other side, being careful not to drill into the seat cushion. Drill out as much of it as you can. With my 12V cordless drill, I went through two batteries and was starting my third by the time I finished both seats.
Then by holding up the recline lever and slamming the seat forward and back, you can break up what's left of the rivet. With needle nose pliers, and a big flathead screwdriver and a hammer to wedge the screwdriver between the black grooved metal plate and the plates on either side of it (then using the screwdriver as a lever to pry the plates even further apart), I was able to get the rivet out. You can un-recline the seat as far forward as it'll go to make as much of the groove be above the plates as possible to give you room to get the rivet out, or you can recline it until the rivet appears in another groove below and pull it out that way. For me, one way worked better one time, the other way worked better on the other seat. This was the most difficult part of the whole job, but it wasnt hard so much as tedious.
When youre all done, reward yourself with a nice nap.